Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter Cymbeline, Belarius, Guiderius, Arviragus,

Pisanio, Lords, Officers, and Attendants


Stand by my side, you whom the gods have made

Preservers of my throne: woe is my heart,

That the poor soldier that so richly fought,
richly (adv.) 1 nobly, mightily, in a powerful way

Whose rags shamed gilded arms, whose naked breast
gilded (adj.) 1 glittering, gold-coloured, tinged with gold
naked (adj.) 1 defenceless, undefended, unarmed

Stepped before targes of proof, cannot be found:
proof (n.) 1 tested strength, proven power of resistance, impenetrability
targe (n.) shield See Topics: Weapons

He shall be happy that can find him, if

Our grace can make him so.
grace (n.) 1 honour, favour, recognition, respect


                         I never saw

Such noble fury in so poor a thing;

Such precious deeds in one that promised nought

But beggary and poor looks.


                         No tidings of him?


He hath been searched among the dead and living;
search (v.) 3 seek, seek out, look for

But no trace of him.


                         To my grief, I am

The heir of his reward, (to Belarius, Guiderius, and Arviragus) which I will add

To you, the liver, heart, and brain of Britain,

By whom – I grant – she lives. 'Tis now the time
grant (v.) 1 acknowledge, confess, affirm

To ask of whence you are. Report it.



In Cambria are we born, and gentlemen:

Further to boast were neither true nor modest,

Unless I add we are honest.


                         Bow your knees:

Arise my knights o'th' battle. I create you
knight of the battle one whose knighthood was conferred after prowess on the battlefield

Companions to our person, and will fit you
fit (v.) 4 supply [with what is fit], satisfy

With dignities becoming your estates.
become (v.) 1 be fitting, befit, be appropriate to See Topics: Frequency count
estate (n.) 2 high rank, standing, status

Enter Cornelius and Ladies
business (n.) 3 important matter, serious concern

There's business in these faces; why so sadly

Greet you our victory? You look like Romans,

And not o'th' court of Britain.


                         Hail, great king!

To sour your happiness, I must report

The queen is dead.


                         Who worse than a physician

Would this report become? But I consider,
become (v.) 3 put a good front on, give a pleasing appearance to

By med'cine life may be prolonged, yet death

Will seize the doctor too. How ended she?


With horror, madly dying, like her life,

Which – being cruel to the world – concluded

Most cruel to herself. What she confessed

I will report, so please you. These her women

Can trip me, if I err, who with wet cheeks
trip (v.) 3 overthrow, catch out, point out fault in

Were present when she finished.
finish (v.) die, come to an end


                         Prithee say.


First, she confessed she never loved you: only

Affected greatness got by you: not you:
affect (v.) 5 cultivate, aim at, seek out

Married your royalty, was wife to your place:
place (n.) 1 position, post, office, rank See Topics: Frequency count

Abhorred your person.


                         She alone knew this:

And but she spoke it dying, I would not

Believe her lips in opening it. Proceed.
open (v.) 2 announce, communicate, divulge


Your daughter, whom she bore in hand to love
bear in hand 2 profess, pretend, purport

With such integrity, she did confess

Was as a scorpion to her sight, whose life –

But that her flight prevented it – she had

Ta'en off by poison.
delicate (adj.) 4 cunning, ingenious, skilful
take off (v.) 2 kill, remove, put to death


                         O most delicate fiend!

Who is't can read a woman? Is there more?


More, sir, and worse. She did confess she had

For you a mortal mineral, which, being took,
mineral (n.) 2 substance, poison, toxin
mortal (adj.) 1 fatal, deadly, lethal

Should by the minute feed on life and ling'ring
minute, by the minute by minute, continually

By inches waste you. In which time, she purposed
purpose (v.) 1 intend, plan
waste (v.) 2 consume, use up

By watching, weeping, tendance, kissing, to
tendance (n.) 1 attention, care, solicitude
watch (v.) 1 stay awake, keep vigil

O'ercome you with her show; and in time –
show (n.) 3 pretence, fabrication, deception

When she had fitted you with her craft – to work
fit (v.) 3 adapt, conform, accommodate
work (v.), past form wrought 1 bring about, arrange, effect

Her son into th' adoption of the crown:

But, failing of her end by his strange absence,
end (n.) 1 purpose, aim, design

Grew shameless-desperate, opened – in despite
open (v.) 1 reveal, uncover, disclose

Of heaven and men – her purposes: repented
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan See Topics: Frequency count

The evils she hatched were not effected: so

Despairing died.


                         Heard you all this, her women?


We did, so please your highness.


                         Mine eyes

Were not in fault, for she was beautiful;

Mine ears that heard her flattery, nor my heart

That thought her like her seeming. It had been vicious
seeming (n.) 1 appearance, look, aspect
vicious (adj.) 2 blameworthy, reprehensible, shameful

To have mistrusted her: yet, O my daughter,

That it was folly in me, thou mayst say,

And prove it in thy feeling. Heaven mend all!
feeling (n.) 2 experience, sensibility, sense of awareness [of the consequences]

Enter Lucius, Iachimo, the Soothsayer, and other Roman

Prisoners, guarded; Posthumus behind, and Innogen

Thou com'st not, Caius, now for tribute; that

The Britons have razed out, though with the loss
raze, raze out erase, obliterate, wipe out

Of many a bold one: whose kinsmen have made suit
suit (n.) 1 formal request, entreaty, petition See Topics: Frequency count

That their good souls may be appeased with slaughter

Of you their captives, which ourself have granted:

So think of your estate.
estate (n.) 1 state, situation, circumstances


Consider, sir, the chance of war, the day

Was yours by accident: had it gone with us,
accident (n.) 2 chance, fortune, fate

We should not, when the blood was cool, have threatened

Our prisoners with the sword. But since the gods

Will have it thus, that nothing but our lives

May be called ransom, let it come: sufficeth

A Roman with a Roman's heart can suffer:

Augustus lives to think on't: and so much

For my peculiar care. This one thing only
care (n.) 2 responsibility, duty, matter of concern
peculiar (adj.) particular, private, personal

I will entreat, my boy – a Briton born –

Let him be ransomed: never master had

A page so kind, so duteous, diligent,
duteous (adj.) dutiful, obedient, of allegiance

So tender over his occasions, true,
occasion (n.) 3 need, want, requirement
tender (adj.) 3 thoughtful, considerate, solicitous
true (adj.) 1 loyal, firm, faithful in allegiance

So feat, so nurse-like: let his virtue join
feat (adj.) 1 adept, deft, graceful

With my request, which I'll make bold your highness

Cannot deny: he hath done no Briton harm,
deny (v.) 1 refuse, rebuff, reject

Though he have served a Roman. Save him, sir,

And spare no blood beside.


                         I have surely seen him:

His favour is familiar to me. Boy,
favour (n.) 1 [facial] appearance, countenance, features, looks

Thou hast looked thyself into my grace,
look (v.) 7 change one's state through one's looks

And art mine own. I know not why, wherefore,

To say, live boy: ne'er thank thy master, live;

And ask of Cymbeline what boon thou wilt,
boon (n.) petition, entreaty, request

Fitting my bounty, and thy state, I'll give it:
state (n.) 2 status, rank, position

Yea, though thou do demand a prisoner,

The noblest ta'en.


                         I humbly thank your highness.


I do not bid thee beg my life, good lad,

And yet I know thou wilt.


                         No, no alack,

There's other work in hand: I see a thing

Bitter to me as death: your life, good master,

Must shuffle for itself.
shuffle (v.) 2 shift, shamble along


                         The boy disdains me,

He leaves me, scorns me: briefly die their joys
briefly (adv.) 1 quickly, soon, in a moment

That place them on the truth of girls and boys.
truth (n.) 1 loyalty, allegiance, faithfulness

Why stands he so perplexed?
perplexed (adj.) 1 troubled, disturbed, worried


                         What wouldst thou, boy?

I love thee more and more: think more and more

What's best to ask. Know'st him thou look'st on? Speak,

Wilt have him live? Is he thy kin? Thy friend?


He is a Roman, no more kin to me

Than I to your highness, who being born your vassal,
vassal (n.) 1 servant, slave, subject

Am something nearer.
eye (v.) 2 look at, stare at, regard
something (adv.) 1 somewhat, rather See Topics: Frequency count


                         Wherefore ey'st him so?


I'll tell you, sir, in private, if you please

To give me hearing.


                         Ay, with all my heart,

And lend my best attention. What's thy name?


Fidele, sir.


                         Thou'rt my good youth: my page

I'll be thy master: walk with me: speak freely.

(Cymbeline and Innogen walk aside)
sand (n.) grain of sand


Is not this boy revived from death?


                         One sand another

Not more resembles that sweet rosy lad,

Who died, and was Fidele! What think you?


The same dead thing alive.


Peace, peace, see further: he eyes us not, forbear;
eye (v.) 2 look at, stare at, regard
forbear (v.) 1 stop, cease, desist See Topics: Frequency count
forbear (v.) 3 control oneself, have patience [for]

Creatures may be alike: were't he, I am sure

He would have spoke to us.


                         But we see him dead.


Be silent: let's see further.



                         It is my mistress:

Since she is living, let the time run on,

To good, or bad.

(Cymbeline and Innogen come forward)


                         Come, stand thou by our side,

Make thy demand aloud. (to Iachimo) Sir, step you forth,

Give answer to this boy, and do it freely,

Or, by our greatness and the grace of it –

Which is our honour – bitter torture shall

Winnow the truth from falsehood. On, speak to him.


My boon is, that this gentleman may render
boon (n.) petition, entreaty, request
render (v.) 4 declare, state, give an account

Of whom he had this ring.



                         What's that to him?


That diamond upon your finger, say

How came it yours?


Thou'lt torture me to leave unspoken that

Which, to be spoke, would torture thee.


                         How? Me?


I am glad to be constrained to utter that
constrain (v.) 1 force, compel, oblige

Which torments me to conceal. By villainy

I got this ring; 'twas Leonatus' jewel,

Whom thou didst banish: and – which more may grieve thee,

As it doth me – a nobler sir ne'er lived
sir (n.) 1 man, person, individual

'Twixt sky and ground. Wilt thou hear more, my lord?


All that belongs to this.


                         That paragon, thy daughter,

For whom my heart drops blood, and my false spirits
false (adj.) 1 treacherous, traitorous, perfidious See Topics: Frequency count

Quail to remember – Give me leave; I faint.


My daughter? What of her? Renew thy strength:

I had rather thou shouldst live, while Nature will,
nature (n.) 4 mortal life, natural life

Than die ere I hear more: strive, man, and speak.


Upon a time, unhappy was the clock
time, upon a once upon a time

That struck the hour: it was in Rome, accurst

The mansion where: 'twas at a feast, O, would

Our viands had been poisoned – or at least
viand (n.) (usually plural) food, victuals, foodstuff

Those which I heaved to head – the good Posthumus –
heave (v.) 1 raise, lift up

What should I say? He was too good to be

Where ill men were, and was the best of all
ill (adj.) 2 evil, wicked, immoral

Amongst the rar'st of good ones – sitting sadly,
rare (adj.) 2 unusual, striking, exceptional

Hearing us praise our loves of Italy

For beauty, that made barren the swelled boast

Of him that best could speak: for feature, laming
feature (n.) physical appearance, bodily shape, looks
lame (v.) give the appearance of lameness to, make deficient [by comparison]

The shrine of Venus, or straight-pight Minerva,
straight-pight (adj.) with a tall figure,with erect bearing

Postures, beyond brief Nature. For condition,
condition (n.) 1 disposition, temper, mood, character
nature (n.) 4 mortal life, natural life
posture (n.) 1 bearing, demeanour, presence

A shop of all the qualities that man

Loves woman for, besides that hook of wiving,
hook (n.) 1 bait, lure, temptation
wiving (n.) marriage, marrying, taking a wife

Fairness, which strikes the eye.
fairness (n.) 1 beauty, loveliness, comeliness


                         I stand on fire.

Come to the matter.


                         All too soon I shall,

Unless thou wouldst grieve quickly. This Posthumus,

Most like a noble lord in love and one

That had a royal lover, took his hint,
hint (n.) 1 opportunity, moment, chance

And – not dispraising whom we praised, therein

He was as calm as virtue – he began

His mistress' picture, which, by his tongue, being made,

And then a mind put in't, either our brags
brag (n.) boast, bragging claim

Were craked of kitchen-trulls, or his description
crack (v.) 5 boast, trumpet, crow [about]
kitchen-trull kitchen-maid, serving-girl

Proved us unspeaking sots.
purpose (n.) 2 point at issue, matter in hand
sot (n.) blockhead, idiot, dolt
unspeaking (adj.) unable to speak out, incapable of speech


                         Nay, nay, to th' purpose.


Your daughter's chastity – there it begins –

He spoke of her, as Dian had hot dreams,
hot (adj.) 3 lecherous, lustful, hot-blooded

And she alone were cold: whereat I, wretch,
cold (adj.) 1 chaste, modest, lacking sensual passion

Made scruple of his praise, and wagered with him
scruple (n.) 4 objection, difficulty, doubt

Pieces of gold, 'gainst this – which he then wore

Upon his honoured finger – to attain

In suit the place of's bed, and win this ring
suit (n.) 2 wooing, courtship

By hers and mine adultery: he, true knight,

No lesser of her honour confident

Than I did truly find her, stakes this ring,

And would so, had it been a carbuncle
carbuncle (n.) 1 fiery red precious stone

Of Phoebus' wheel; and might so safely, had it

Been all the worth of's car. Away to Britain
car (n.) carriage, cart, chariot [often of the sun god]

Post I in this design: well may you, sir,
design (n.) 2 scheme, plan, plot
post (v.) 1 hasten, speed, ride fast

Remember me at court, where I was taught

Of your chaste daughter the wide difference

'Twixt amorous and villainous. Being thus quenched

Of hope, not longing, mine Italian brain

Gan in your duller Britain operate

Most vilely: for my vantage, excellent.
vantage (n.) 3 advantage, benefit, advancement, profit

And to be brief, my practice so prevailed,
practice (n.) 2 trickery, treachery

That I returned with simular proof enough
simular (adj.) simulated, pretended, fake; or: plausible

To make the noble Leonatus mad,

By wounding his belief in her renown,
renown (n.) 1 reputation, good name, honour

With tokens thus, and thus: averring notes
aver (v.) provide, furnish, affirm
note (n.) 5 observation, record, description
token (n.) 1 sign, evidence, mark

Of chamber-hanging, pictures, this her bracelet –

O cunning, how I got it! – nay, some marks

Of secret on her person, that he could not

But think her bond of chastity quite cracked,
cracked (adj.) 2 broken, crushed, fractured

I having ta'en the forfeit. Whereupon –

Methinks I see him now –


methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count

                         Ay, so thou dost,

Italian fiend! Ay me, most credulous fool,

Egregious murderer, thief, any thing
egregious (adj.) 2 shocking, outrageous, flagrant

That's due to all the villains past, in being,

To come. O, give me cord, or knife, or poison
cord (n.) hangman's rope

Some upright justicer! Thou, king, send out

For torturers ingenious: it is I

That all th' abhorred things o'th' earth amend
amend (v.) 3 make better, ameliorate, lessen the evil of

By being worse than they. I am Posthumus,

That killed thy daughter: villain-like, I lie;

That caused a lesser villain than myself,

A sacrilegious thief, to do't. The temple
thief (n.) villain, scoundrel, rogue, wretch

Of Virtue was she; yea, and she herself.

Spit, and throw stones, cast mire upon me, set

The dogs o'th' street to bay me: every villain
bay (v.) 2 bark at, howl at

Be called Posthumus Leonatus, and

Be villainy less than 'twas. O Innogen!

My queen, my life, my wife, O Innogen,

Innogen, Innogen!


                         Peace, my lord, hear, hear –


Shall's have a play of this? Thou scornful page,

There lie thy part.

(striking her: she falls)


                         O, gentlemen, help!

Mine and your mistress: O, my lord Posthumus!

You ne'er killed Innogen till now. Help, help!

Mine honoured lady!


                         Does the world go round?


How comes these staggers on me?
staggers (n.) 2 unsteadiness, reeling, giddiness


                         Wake, my mistress!


If this be so, the gods do mean to strike me

To death with mortal joy.
fare (v.) 1 get on, manage, do, cope See Topics: Frequency count
mortal (adj.) 1 fatal, deadly, lethal


                         How fares my mistress?


O, get thee from my sight,

Thou gav'st me poison: dangerous fellow, hence!

Breathe not where princes are.
tune (n.) 2 sound, tone, voice


                         The tune of Innogen!



The gods throw stones of sulphur on me, if
stone of sulphur thunderbolt

That box I gave you was not thought by me

A precious thing: I had it from the queen.


New matter still.
matter (n.) 1 subject-matter, content, substance


                         It poisoned me.


                                                         O gods!

I left out one thing which the queen confessed.

Which must approve thee honest. ‘ If Pisanio
approve (v.) 1 prove, confirm, corroborate, substantiate

Have,’ said she, ‘ given his mistress that confection
confection (n.) medicinal preparation, mixture of drugs

Which I gave him for cordial, she is served
cordial (n.) restorative, stimulant, tonic

As I would serve a rat.’


                         What's this, Cornelius?


The queen, sir, very oft importuned me
importune (v.) 2 beg [for], ask persistently [for]
oft (adv.) often See Topics: Frequency count

To temper poisons for her, still pretending
pretend (v.) 1 claim, avow, profess
temper (v.) 1 blend, mix, concoct, compound

The satisfaction of her knowledge only

In killing creatures vile, as cats and dogs

Of no esteem. I, dreading that her purpose
esteem (n.) 1 value, estimation, worth

Was of more danger, did compound for her
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan See Topics: Frequency count

A certain stuff, which being ta'en would cease
cease (v.) 2 stop, halt, end
stuff (n.) 1 substance, composition, quality, essence

The present power of life, but in short time
power (n.) 8 faculty, function, ability

All offices of nature should again
nature (n.) 2 natural powers, normal state [of mind and body]
office (n.) 2 role, position, place, function

Do their due functions. Have you ta'en of it?


Most like I did, for I was dead.
dead (adj.) 5 death-like, lifeless, spiritless
like (adv.) 1 likely, probable / probably See Topics: Frequency count


                         My boys,

There was our error.
sure (adv.) 2 surely, assuredly, certainly


                         This is sure Fidele.


Why did you throw your wedded lady from you?

Think that you are upon a rock, and now

Throw me again.

(embracing him)


                         Hang there like a fruit, my soul,

Till the tree die.


                         How now, my flesh, my child?

What, mak'st thou me a dullard in this act?
act (n.) 1 activity, action, performance
dullard (n.) dimwit, dunce, ignoramus

Wilt thou not speak to me?



                          Your blessing, sir.


(to Guiderius and Arviragus)

Though you did love this youth, I blame ye not,

You had a motive for't.


                         My tears that fall

Prove holy water on thee; Innogen,

Thy mother's dead.


                         I am sorry for't, my lord.


O, she was naught; and long of her it was
naught, nought (adj.) 3 bad, wicked, sinful

That we meet here so strangely: but her son
strangely (adv.) 3 unaccountably, surprisingly, unusually

Is gone, we know not how, nor where.


                         My lord,

Now fear is from me, I'll speak troth. Lord Cloten,
troth (n.) 1 truth, good faith See Topics: Swearing

Upon my lady's missing, came to me
missing (n.) absence, disappearance, non-attendance [at court]

With his sword drawn, foamed at the mouth, and swore,

If I discovered not which way she was gone,
discover (v.) 1 reveal, show, make known See Topics: Frequency count

It was my instant death. By accident,
accident (n.) 2 chance, fortune, fate

I had a feigned letter of my master's
feigned (adj.) 2 deceptive, contrived in order to deceive

Then in my pocket, which directed him

To seek her on the mountains near to Milford;

Where, in a frenzy, in my master's garments –

Which he enforced from me – away he posts
post (v.) 1 hasten, speed, ride fast

With unchaste purpose, and with oath to violate
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan See Topics: Frequency count

My lady's honour: what became of him

I further know not.


                         Let me end the story:

I slew him there.


                         Marry, the gods forfend!

I would not thy good deeds should from my lips

Pluck a hard sentence: prithee, valiant youth,

Deny't again.


                         I have spoke it, and I did it.


He was a prince.


A most incivil one. The wrongs he did me
incivil (adj.) uncivil, unmannerly, discourteous

Were nothing prince-like; for he did provoke me

With language that would make me spurn the sea,
spurn (v.) 1 reject, scorn, despise, treat with contempt

If it could so roar to me. I cut off's head,

And am right glad he is not standing here

To tell this tale of mine.


                         I am sorrow for thee:

By thine own tongue thou art condemned, and must

Endure our law: thou'rt dead.
dead (adj.) 6 condemned to death, to be put to death


                         That headless man

I thought had been my lord.


                         Bind the offender,

And take him from our presence.


                         Stay, sir king.

This man is better than the man he slew,

As well descended as thyself, and hath

More of thee merited than a band of Clotens

Had ever scar for. (to the Guard) Let his arms alone,

They were not born for bondage.
bondage (n.) 2 binding up, tying up, wrapping up


                         Why, old soldier:

Wilt thou undo the worth thou art unpaid for

By tasting of our wrath? How of descent

As good as we?
far (adv.) 1 to great lengths, very highly


                         In that he spake too far.


And thou shalt die for't.


                         We will die all three,

But I will prove that two on's are as good

As I have given out him. My sons, I must
give out (v.) 1 report, assert, make known

For mine own part unfold a dangerous speech,
unfold (v.) 3 relate, recount, narrate

Though haply well for you.
haply (adv.) perhaps, maybe, by chance, with luck See Topics: Frequency count


                         Your danger's ours.


And our good his.


                         Have at it then, by leave:

Thou hadst, great king, a subject, who

Was called Belarius –


What of him? He is a banished traitor.


He it is that hath

Assumed this age: indeed a banished man,
assume (v.) 2 attain, achieve, reach

I know not how a traitor.


                         Take him hence,

The whole world shall not save him.
hot (adj.) 5 fast, hasty


                         Not too hot;

First pay me for the nursing of thy sons,

And let it be confiscate all, so soon

As I have received it.


                         Nursing of my sons?


I am too blunt, and saucy: here's my knee:
saucy (adj.) 1 insolent, impudent, presumptuous, defiant

Ere I arise I will prefer my sons;
prefer (v.) 1 promote, advance, recommend

Then spare not the old father. Mighty sir,

These two young gentlemen that call me father

And think they are my sons, are none of mine;

They are the issue of your loins, my liege,
issue (n.) 1 child(ren), offspring, family, descendant See Topics: Frequency count

And blood of your begetting.


                         How? My issue?


So sure as you your father's. I – old Morgan –

Am that Belarius, whom you sometime banished:
sometime (adv.) 1 formerly, at one time, once

Your pleasure was my ne'er-offence, my punishment
ne'er-offence (n.) [unclear meaning] non-offence
pleasure (n.) 3 gratification, whim, caprice

Itself, and all my treason: that I suffered

Was all the harm I did. These gentle princes –
gentle (adj.) 1 well-born, honourable, noble See Topics: Frequency count

For such and so they are – these twenty years

Have I trained up; those arts they have, as I
art (n.) 2 accomplishment, achievement, skill

Could put into them. My breeding was, sir, as

Your highness knows. Their nurse, Euriphile –

Whom for the theft I wedded – stole these children

Upon my banishment: I moved her to't,
move (v.) 3 encourage, instigate, prompt

Having received the punishment before

For that which I did then. Beaten for loyalty

Excited me to treason. Their dear loss,
excite (v.) incite, stir up, move

The more of you 'twas felt, the more it shaped
shape (v.) 3 be suitable, fit, accord

Unto my end of stealing them. But gracious sir,
end (n.) 1 purpose, aim, design

Here are your sons again, and I must lose

Two of the sweet'st companions in the world.

The benediction of these covering heavens
benediction (n.) 2 blessing, happiness, prosperity

Fall on their heads like dew, for they are worthy

To inlay heaven with stars.
inlay (v.) furnish, provide, take one's place in


                         Thou weep'st, and speak'st:

The service that you three have done is more

Unlike than this thou tell'st. I lost my children:
unlike (adj.) 1 unlikely, incredible, unbelievable

If these be they, I know not how to wish

A pair of worthier sons.


                         Be pleased awhile;

This gentleman, whom I call Polydore,

Most worthy prince, as yours, is true Guiderius:

This gentleman, my Cadwal, Arviragus

Your younger princely son, he, sir, was lapped
lap (v.) wrap, swathe, enfold, clad

In a most curious mantle, wrought by th' hand
curious (adj.) 1 finely made, skilfully wrought, elaborate

Of his queen mother, which for more probation
probation (n.) 1 proof, demonstration

I can with ease produce.


                         Guiderius had

Upon his neck a mole, a sanguine star;
sanguine (adj.) 1 blood-red, deep red

It was a mark of wonder.


                         This is he,

Who hath upon him still that natural stamp:
stamp (n.) 1 impression, mark, imprint

It was wise Nature's end, in the donation
donation (n.) 1 giving, bestowal, imparting
end (n.) 1 purpose, aim, design

To be his evidence now.


                         O, what am I?

A mother to the birth of three? Ne'er mother

Rejoiced deliverance more. Blest pray you be,
deliverance (n.) 2 delivery, giving birth

That, after this strange starting from your orbs,
orb (n.) 2 sphere, orbit, circle
starting (n.) 1 removal, displacement, breaking away

You may reign in them now! O Innogen,
reign (v.) have power, exercise influence

Thou hast lost by this a kingdom.


                         No, my lord;

I have got two worlds by't. O my gentle brothers,
gentle (adj.) 1 well-born, honourable, noble See Topics: Frequency count

Have we thus met? O, never say hereafter

But I am truest speaker. You called me brother,

When I was but your sister: I you brothers,

When ye were so indeed.


                         Did you e'er meet?


Ay, my good lord.


                         And at first meeting loved,

Continued so, until we thought he died.


By the queen's dram she swallowed.
dram (n.) 2 [small dose of] poison
rare (adj.) 2 unusual, striking, exceptional


                         O rare instinct!

When shall I hear all through? This fierce abridgement
abridgement (n.) 3 summary, outline, synopsis
fierce (adj.) 3 drastic, severe, extreme

Hath to it circumstantial branches, which
branch (n.) division, section, part [of an argument]
circumstantial (adj.) full of circumstances, rich in detail

Distinction should be rich in. Where? How lived you?
distinction (n.) act of distinguishing, discrimination, differentiation

And when came you to serve our Roman captive?

How parted with your brothers? How first met them?

Why fled you from the court? And whither? These,

And your three motives to the battle, with

I know not how much more, should be demanded
demand (v.) 1 request to tell, question, ask [about]

And all the other by-dependances,
by-dependance (n.) side-issue, incidental point

From chance to chance. But nor the time nor place
chance (n.) 1 event, occurrence, situation [especially, bad]

Will serve our long inter'gatories. See,
interrogatory (n.) interrogation, questioning, inquisition
serve (v.) 5 suit, allow, afford

Posthumus anchors upon Innogen;
anchor (v.) 1 concentrate, fix attention, home in

And she – like harmless lightning – throws her eye

On him: her brothers, me: her master hitting

Each object with a joy: the counterchange
counterchange (n.) reciprocation, mutual regard

Is severally in all. Let's quit this ground,
severally (adv.) separately, individually See Topics: Stage directions

And smoke the temple with our sacrifices.

(to Belarius) Thou art my brother; so we'll hold thee ever.


You are my father too, and did relieve me,
relieve (v.) aid, assist, rescue

To see this gracious season.
gracious (adj.) 3 blessed, happy, joyful
season (n.) 1 time, due time, occasion


                         All o'erjoyed,

Save these in bonds, let them be joyful too,

For they shall taste our comfort.
comfort (n.) 4 clemency, benevolence, mercy


                         My good master,

I will yet do you service.


                         Happy be you!


The forlorn soldier that so nobly fought,
forlorn (adj.) 1 wretched, abandoned, destitute

He would have well becomed this place, and graced
become (v.) 2 grace, honour, dignify See Topics: Frequency count

The thankings of a king.
thanking (n.) word of thanks, expression of gratitude


                         I am, sir,

The soldier that did company these three
company (v.) accompany, keep company with

In poor beseeming: 'twas a fitment for
beseeming (n.) appearance, look
fitment (n.) 1 preparation, appropriate state

The purpose I then followed. That I was he,
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan See Topics: Frequency count

Speak, Iachimo: I had you down, and might

Have made you finish.


finish (v.) die, come to an end

                         I am down again:

But now my heavy conscience sinks my knee,
heavy (adj.) 1 sorrowful, sad, gloomy See Topics: Frequency count

As then your force did. Take that life, beseech you,

Which I so often owe: but your ring first,

And here the bracelet of the truest princess

That ever swore her faith.


                         Kneel not to me:

The power that I have on you, is to spare you:
power (n.) 5 exercise of power, authoritative action

The malice towards you, to forgive you. Live

And deal with others better.
doom (v.) 1 decree, decide, adjudge


                         Nobly doomed!

We'll learn our freeness of a son-in-law:
freeness (n.) generosity, liberality, benevolence

Pardon's the word to all.


                         You holp us, sir,

As you did mean indeed to be our brother;

Joyed are we that you are.
joy (v.) 1 feel joy, be happy, rejoice
joyed (adj.) overjoyed, delighted, full of rejoicing


Your servant, princes. Good my lord of Rome,

Call forth your soothsayer: as I slept, methought
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count
soothsayer (n.) foreteller of events, prophet

Great Jupiter, upon his eagle backed,
back (v.) 2 ride, mount, sit on

Appeared to me, with other spritely shows
show (n.) 4 vision, apparition, manifestation
sprightly, spritely (adj.) 2 ghostly, spectral, supernatural

Of mine own kindred. When I waked, I found

This label on my bosom; whose containing
containing (n.) contents, tenor, matter
label (n.) 1 document, sheet of writing

Is so from sense in hardness, that I can
hardness (n.) 2 difficulty of understanding

Make no collection of it. Let him show
collection (n.) 1 deduction, inference, gathering of meaning

His skill in the construction.
construction (n.) 1 interpretation, reading, explanation




Here, my good lord.


                         Read, and declare the meaning.



When as a lion's whelp shall, to himself

unknown, without seeking find, and be embraced

by a piece of tender air: and when from a

stately cedar shall be lopped branches, which,

being dead many years, shall after revive, be

jointed to the old stock, and freshly grow, then

shall Posthumus end his miseries, Britain be fortunate,

and flourish in peace and plenty.

Thou, Leonatus, art the lion's whelp,

The fit and apt construction of thy name,
apt (adj.) 3 natural, predictable, plausible, to be expected
construction (n.) 1 interpretation, reading, explanation

Being Leo-natus, doth impart so much:
impart (v.) 1 tell, make known, communicate

(to Cymbeline) The piece of tender air, thy virtuous daughter,

Which we call mollis aer; and mollis aer
mollis... soft air See Topics: Latin

We term it mulier: which mulier I divine

Is this most constant wife, who even now,

Answering the letter of the oracle,
answer (v.) 12 fulfil, meet, satisfy

Unknown to you, unsought, were clipped about
clip about (v.) embrace, clasp, hug

With this most tender air.
seeming (n.) 4 plausibility, likelihood, credibility


                         This hath some seeming.


The lofty cedar, royal Cymbeline,

Personates thee: and thy lopped branches point
personate (v.) 2 stand for, represent, symbolize
point forth (v.) indicate, suggest, allude to

Thy two sons forth: who, by Belarius stol'n,

For many years thought dead, are now revived,

To the majestic cedar joined; whose issue
issue (n.) 1 child(ren), offspring, family, descendant See Topics: Frequency count
issue (n.) 2 outcome, result, consequence(s) See Topics: Frequency count

Promises Britain peace and plenty.



My peace we will begin: and Caius Lucius,

Although the victor, we submit to Caesar,

And to the Roman empire; promising

To pay our wonted tribute, from the which
wonted (adj.) accustomed, usual, customary

We were dissuaded by our wicked queen,

Whom heavens in justice both on her, and hers,

Have laid most heavy hand.
heavy (adj.) 2 grave, serious, weighty


The fingers of the powers above do tune
power (n.) 9 (usually plural) gods, deities, divinities

The harmony of this peace. The vision,

Which I made known to Lucius ere the stroke
stroke (n.) 2 first blow, initial action

Of yet this scarce-cold battle, at this instant
scarce-cold (adj.) only just over, recently ended

Is full accomplished. For the Roman eagle,

From south to west on wing soaring aloft,

Lessened herself and in the beams o' the sun

So vanished; which foreshadowed our princely eagle,

Th' imperial Caesar, should again unite

His favour with the radiant Cymbeline,

Which shines here in the west.
laud (v.) praise, honour, give homage to


                         Laud we the gods,

And let our crooked smokes climb to their nostrils
crooked (adj.) 3 curling, twisting

From our blest altars. Publish we this peace
publish (v.) 1 announce, make public, make generally known

To all our subjects. Set we forward: let
set forward (v.) go forward, set out, go forth

A Roman, and a British ensign wave
ensign (n.) 1 standard, banner, flag

Friendly together: so through Lud's town march,

And in the temple of great Jupiter

Our peace we'll ratify: seal it with feasts.

Set on there! Never was a war did cease –
set on (v.) 2 go forward, advance, proceed

Ere bloody hands were washed – with such a peace.


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